Saturday, July 30, 2011

Reflections of Belmar Mural is Finished

It looks like the new Reflections of Belmar mural down by the corner of Main St and 16th Ave is now finished. Our BAC volunteers, led by Pat Hutchinson, did another nice job on our latest mural, very visible in one of Belmar's busiest intersections. Scroll back through this blog to see all the steps involved, and then come by sometime and see it for yourself.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reflections of Belmar Mural part 6

With the temperatures finally dipping below 90 degrees for a little while, our volunteer crew of muralists was back to work on the painted mural down by 16th Avenue. That meant bringing the whole collection of paints (new cans and containers of premixed colors from previous sessions), brushes, and clean up materials.

Today we had three experienced muralists on the job. Bonnie and Pat (in the foreground at left, finishing the beach sand) have both worked on this project before, but today they were joined by Jim Fitzmaurice, who painted the huge mural of Belmar scenes on the back of Freedman's bakery last fall. Three artists and three ladders, ready to get some paint on the wall.

Today Jim put himself into a precarious position as he painted the town website address on the subject's hat. Belmar's muralists are a dedicated bunch.

Meanwhile, Bonnie finished painting the reflected image in the right lens on the sunglasses.

At the end of today's painting, we see that the project is almost done. Remaining is the reflected image in the left lens and some touch up here and there. Weather permitting, painters will be out there very early tomorrow morning with the goal of finishing the mural.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Mud Mural is Finished

Today was the final day of work on the BAC mud mural. Several of the volunteers who have been part of the process from the beginning gathered one more time to bring the project to completion. After a quick cleaning up of the ground in front of our wall, we used large brushes to remove any loose clay dust, then started applying a wash of thinned glue to help seal the clay surface.

While the glue was drying in heat that was approaching triple digits, we washed out the brushes and used clean water to wash accumulated clay residue off the concrete pieces that had formed the base of the wall.

The last step was to apply the color. Project leader Kat had mixed up a kind of paint, combining green pigment with kaolin clay, whiting, wheat starch, and water, a hue that matched the concrete pieces. First it was brushed onto all the relief surfaces- the letters and the sculpted bamboo stalks. For the leaves we decided to paint the outlines of the shapes and then scumble the color within. Below is the final piece.

At some point soon the protective canopy will be removed, fully exposing our creation to the elements. The finished mural was the result of a month's work and the labor of dozens of volunteers, but the effort was worth it. Stop by the Boatworks and see it in person before it gradually disappears.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Noble Prose Meets in July

Last week the Noble Prose writers and artists group had their latest meeting. Once again the group was presented with something to consider, this time a still life of a mannequin hand and an IV bag.

Above, Irene acts out her story. Below, participants read the resulting stories.

Next month, the writers and photographers will visit local Belmar sites that are homes to endangered species and create stories inspired by what they see. The group is open to any who wish to attend. For more information or to contact Noble Prose (including requesting a copy of last week's best story), see the BAC website.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Reflections of Belmar Mural part 5

Work continues on the new Reflections of Belmar mural. Pat was down there painting this morning, including working more on the items reflected in the sunglasses. (click on the photo to enlarge it) A few more sessions should bring this to completion. Check here for further updates, of just wander down to Main and 16th and see it for yourself.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mud Mural part 6

Over the past week, work has continued on adding relief elements to the BAC mud mural at the Boatworks. Kat and Paul, working individually and together, added some three dimensional images on either side of the large BAC letters.

The decision was made to create some bamboo inspired designs, influenced by the material that made up the supporting structure of the wall.

Vertical lines representing upright bamboo stalks were created on both the right and left edges, along with a couple of stalks bending inward. (see above) The dark brown colors (a mixture of clay mud and sand) show newly created sculpture, which would eventually dry to match the color of the rest of the wall. Below is a view of the whole wall from the middle of the week.

The last element to be added were shapes reminiscent of the leaves on bamboo plants. Rather than building these up in three dimensions, it was decided to just smooth out the wall in those sections and scratch the leaf shapes into the wall. Color will eventually help them stand out.

And speaking of which, the last phase of this project is to add color, in the form of color pigmented clay, which will be applied in different areas of the mural. The current plan calls for that to happen on Saturday, July 23rd, beginning around 10:00 am. Volunteers are welcome to come help us finish this project. After that we remove the canopy and let nature take its course.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fragments Exhibition Opening

Today was the opening for the new Fragments exhibition at the Boatworks. The show contains 39 works that explore the concept of fragments, whether it relates to the material, process, or images, in a wide variety of two and three dimensional media.

As usual, we had a pretty big crowd, at least 60 people at one point, and more coming and going early and late in the reception.

People were found both in the front room gallery and in the back, which has more of the show and today's musical guests- Sister Isis and Brother Ty. They are based in the Neptune/Asbury area and teach drumming skills to kids in the community. They brought a whole bunch of musical instruments with them, explaining how they were made and their original purposes, before putting them to good use.

The various drums and other instruments were then distributed to the crowd, so they could participate in making the music.

Prizes were awarded to six of the artworks- a first prize each for 2D and 3D, and two honorable mentions for each category. Below are the winners:

Marilyn Ambler
Glass and Steel
1st prize for 2D

Vicky Culver
Olivia Landscape
Honorable Mention 2D

Sandy Taylor
Honorable Mention 2D

Alexandra Martin
Fragment IV
1st prize for 3D

Deborah Jane Slavitt
Honorable Mention 3D

Ali Bowie
Honorable Mention 3D

The Fragments exhibition remains on display during regular gallery hours (Wed to Sat, 1 to 5 pm) through August 20, 2011. Admission is free.

Reflections of Belmar Mural part 4

We had a few of our volunteer muralists (Marilyn, Bonnie, Pat) working at the Main and 16th site on Friday and Saturday and things are getting near the end. We can see that the hat is more complete and one of the sunglass lens reflections has been filled in. The crew is planning to go back very early Monday morning (around 7:30 am). Volunteers are welcome, especially if they bring their own ladder.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reflections of Belmar Mural part 3

On what turned out to be a very hot day, our volunteer painters were back out on the corner working on Belmar's latest mural. Above, Bonnie adds some shadow color to the face. Below, Judy paints stripes that are part of the hat's brim.

Tom, shown above in front of the current state of the mural, showed up in time to help clean up after painting. A lot of progress has been made, but there is still a bit of work to do. The next planned painting session is this coming Friday, July 15th, starting around 8:00 am.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Reflections of Belmar Mural part 2

Work continued today on the new Reflections of Belmar mural near Main and 16th. We had a crew of 4 volunteers working on it, some arriving as early as 8:00 am. Most of the design had been sketched out last week, so it was a matter of filling in the colors from the plan.

Much of the day was spent on ladders, with Pat, Bonnie, Paul, and Nick all taking turns up high adding various colors with brushes and rollers.

The crew had started to clean up by around 12:30 in the afternoon, but quite a bit had been accomplished, as can be seen in the above photo. Weather permitting, the plan is continue work on Tuesday, July 12th, beginning around 8:00 in the morning. Come by if you would like to help out, or see our Belmar artists in action.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Reflections of Belmar Mural

Making murals out of mud is lots of fun, but at the BAC we also like to do it the old fashioned way, with paint on a wall. Our latest such local mural got started today, on the side of a dentist's office building on Main Street near the corner of 16th Avenue in Belmar. (the parking lot seen in the photos is the gas station) The design was created last year and the wall was cleaned and whitewashed recently in preparation for Belmar's latest mural. The first step (above) was to cut down a large bush that partly blocks the view of the wall.

The next step was to transfer the basic design to the wall. A large grid was laid on the wall, using a ladder to reach the upper parts.

By the end of the day's work, a part of the image has begun to emerge, thanks to the efforts of Pat, Hutch, Marilyn, and Chris. Work will continue as weather permits in the coming weeks, and those efforts will be documented here.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mud Mural part 5

The latest phase of the BAC mud mural is the addition of three dimensional relief designs. This was the plan from the beginning. Above is an early conceptual sketch from project leader Kat Heitman, featuring our organization's initials.

The process of preparing for the lettering goes back to June 25th, when we had some of our volunteers working on creating a different kind of mud, not exactly like the cob mix that went into the construction of the wall. It started with the tearing of paper and soaking it in water, as in papier mache.

Clay was added to the paper mixture in the pool. We got some special help (shown above) to mix it up. However, we had to let the wall dry before going any further.

A few days later Kat returned to sketch out the BAC letters on the wall. First she used a wet brush to mark them out on the dried cob wall, then scratched the letters into the wall.

The next day she returned to make the letters. Clean sand was added to the smooth mud/paper mixture that had been started the week before, and mixed until the results looked like wet cement. Working a little at a time, the mud was applied to the wall over the scratched in letters.

At the end of the day on Sunday, the mural reached the point shown below, with the three-dimensional BAC initials completed.

The mural isn't quite complete yet. In the next week there are plans to add some additional three dimensional designs on either side of the letters, and to add some color to those 3-D shapes. The results will be posted here on the blog, or stop by the Boatworks and see it for yourself.